Marketing Techniques for Growth

Strategic Marketing Management

Task 1
1.1 decide which models to used in the strategic marketing planning of this company (a shoping mall) and why?
1.2 What are the links between their strategic positioning and marketing tactics
1.3 describe and analyse the relationship marketing merits in the given strategic marketing strategy
Task 2
2.1 use appropriate marketing techniques to ascertain growth opportunities in its market
2.2 plan how to use marketing strategy options in the chosen market
2.3 set up appropriate strategic marketing objectives for that market
Task 3
3.1 extrapolate on possible impacts of changes in the external environment on the proposed marketing strategy
3.2 conduct an internal analysis to identify current strengths and weaknesses in the company
3.3 propose strategic marketing responses to key emerging themes that happen

Introduction:

Selection of the right marketing strategies is crucial to create a distinctive position. The marketing strategies become the most effective when they are chosen on basis of the external environmental factors in a market. However, the internal strengths and weaknesses of an organization also play a key role to develop the marketing strategies. Selection of the right marketing techniques becomes even more difficult for the shopping malls because of intense competition in the sector. In this assignment, the marketing strategies of Westfield, one of the largest shopping mall chains across the globe, are analyzed with a special focus on the UK market.

Task 2:

Mode used in Strategic Marketing Planning and the reason:

A number of strategic marketing modes are used by the organizations to enhance their growth in a sustainable manner. There are a number of factors including the market condition and internal factors of an organization that influence the selection of marketing modes. Among all the strategic marketing modes, Westfield relies on leasing and strategic alliance with other organizations to increase its presence in the global market.
Reason: The Westfield management focuses on attracting the best retailers in their shopping centers using leasing contracts. Use of leasing helps the organizations to expand their business in foreign markets at lower cost (West et al. 2015). The leasing contracts are effective for market expansion at the lower cost. Leasing contracts also help the organizations to enhance their income from the market expansion by assisting the partner with their technical knowledge and additional services. As the local organizations are chosen as partners for the leasing contract, legal complexities also reduce. Similarly, the strategic alliances with other organizations help the businesses to serve their customers in a better and inexpensive manner (Proctor, 2014). In case of Westfield also, development of strategic alliance with Uber helps the organization to offer better services to its customers (Payne and Frow,  2014). The other modes of strategic marketing such as having wholly owned subsidiaries require significant investment of capital and resources (Foxall, 2014). The legal complexities are also higher in case of wholly-owned subsidiaries. Therefore, such techniques are not suitable for market expansion at a rapid rate. It can be concluded that the cost-effectiveness and reduced legal complexities are the reason behind Westfield’s selection for leasing and strategic alliances over other strategic marketing modes.
The Westfield management focuses on offering customers with the best quality products at premium prices. The management gives importance on differentiation in terms of the product quality and the value. According to Kashmiri and Mahajan (2014), the differentiation strategy used by the organizations emphasizes on offering the products with the highest perceived value to the customers. The Westfield management also focuses on attracting and retaining the best quality retailers in who offer highly valued products for the customers.
Branding is an integral part of the differentiation strategies (Rossi et al.2014). An effort to improve the brand image among customers improves the perceived value of the offered products also. Quality of the product is another factor that helps the organizations to implement and obtain benefits from the differentiation strategies (Varadarajan, 2017). The perceived value of a product increases as its quality improves. Therefore, it is necessary to offer the customers with products of the best quality for creating a unique brand image in their mind. (Refer to appendix 1)
Marketing tactics: attracting and retaining the top brands in shopping centers: The westfield management also gives importance on ensuring that they are partnering with the top quality retailers. By improving the product quality, the management can easily create a high perceived value for the products among customers. It helps the Westfield management to create a distinctive position in market.

Analysis on relationship marketing merits:

Attracting and retaining the well-known retailers helps the Westfield management to attract huge number of customers in their shopping centers. The focus of the management on improving their relationship with the customers through offering the best quality services, help the organization to obtain some benefits of relationship marketing.
Improving the customer’s experience: Putting effort continuously to improve the experience of customers helps organizations to build trust with the consumers. As the organization focuses on meeting the needs of customers quickly, their satisfaction level increases significantly. It, in turn, helps the Westfield management to increase the number of loyal customers.
Creation of goodwill though the good reviews of customers: The reviews of customers help organizations to create goodwill in the market (Hajli, 2015). The satisfied customers share their experience with others and recommend the particular organization where they obtained quality services. As a result, attracting new customers becomes easier for the Westfield management.

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Task 3:

Marketing techniques for growth:

To utilize the growth opportunities fully, an organization needs to focus on new market development and deeper penetration in the existing market equally (Tomczak et al. 2018).marketing strategies described in the Ansoff matrix are used to identify the suitable marketing techniques for Westfield.

Increasing number of shopping centers in UK: The retail market in the UK is experiencing a strong growth in the last few years. The growth in the retail sector in 2015 was 2.2% whereas the rate of growth in 2016 was 2% (euro.savills.co.uk, 2018). In 2017, the British retail sector experienced 1.4% boost in the sales during the three-months Christmas season (Chernev, 2014) It indicates that the shopping centers can earn high profitability in the British market. Therefore, opening new shopping centers in the UK would be beneficial for Westfield.
New market development in Asia: Entering the new markets help organizations to enhance their growth significantly (Hunt, 2015). Currently, Westfield is operating in the UK, US and the Australian market. The management needs to find other markets also where the growth of shopping center industry is quite high. For instance, in the Asian market, the shopping center industry is growing at a high-rate. The countries like Malayasia are expected to have more than 70 million sq. Meter area of shopping centers (Line and Runyan, 2014). Westfield management can emphasize on running stores in these countries also for utilizing the growth opportunities in these emerging markets.
Offering food and grocery products: The Westfield offers wide range of products including fashion , dining, electronics and books. The organization still now has not s started offering food products, although the demand for such products is increasing worldwide. For instance in the UK, the food sales increased about 2.5% in the festive season of 2017 whereas the Asian countries like China and India are expected to develop a grocery market of 2.4 trillion dollars (PwC, 2018). It indicates that offering the food and grocery products can help Westfield management to grab new opportunities in both new and existing markets.

Marketing strategic options in the selected market:

A business can use multiple ways to grow in a market. However, selection of the most suitable strategic options depends on the internal factors and the market condition. Therefore , the VRIO analysis of Westfield and Porter’s five forces analysis of the UK market are done to identify the right strategic options for Westfield. The strategic options for Westfield are identified using the Porter’s generic strategies.
VRIO of Westfield:

Table 1: VRIO framework for Westfield

Porter’s five forces analysis of the UK shopping center industry:

The bargaining power of buyers: The buyers become powerful in a market if there are many organizations present (Brooksbank et al. 2015). The shopping center industry of the UK includes a number of organizations which increased the power of buyers here.
The bargaining power of suppliers: Presence of few suppliers in an industry increases their power (Kavoura et al. 2015). In the UK market, many retailers are present and it put a limit to their power.
Threat of competitors: there are a number of organizations in the UK shopping center industry including the Trafford center and the Bluewater. It indicates that the competitive rivalry is high in this market.
Threat of substitute products: The popularity of online shopping is increasing globally and also in the UK (Andaleeb and Hasan, 2016). The increasing popularity of the online shopping can pose serious threat to the shopping centers.
Competitive rivalry: The competitive rivalry in the shopping center industry of the UK is quite high. Therefore, Westfield needs to develop a holistic marketing plan for utilizing all the growth opportunities present in the market.

Figure 2: Porter’s generic strategies (Source: Cross et al.201,p-533)
Discussion on the organizational resources of Westfield indicates that the management’s focus on sustainable operations can be a source of competitive advantage. The high competitive rivalry and the high bargaining power of buyers also indicate that the management needs to give special focus on meeting the customers’ demands.
Differentiation strategies: sustainable operation: About 55% of the customers in the UK shows preference towards the organizations which focus on protecting the environment (euro.savills.co.uk, 2018). It indicates that switching to the sustainable operations such as reduction of carbon footprint and offering environment-friendly products can help Westfield to obtain competitive advantage.
Differentiation focus strategies: posing the organization as a ‘green’ brand: The number of consumers who are concerned about the environment is increasing in the UK (Aghazadeh, 2015). Giving importance on this group of customers can help Westfield to improve the profitability. Currently, the organization highlights the quality of products and services in the promotional programs. For attracting the new group of customers, the Westfield management can give stress on highlighting their activities for protection of the environment in promotional programs. It can help the organization to attract the new group of customers effectively.

Setting up strategic marketing objectives:

Setting the strategic marketing objectives help an organization to shape its future activities here SMART objectives are developed for the Westfield management to utilize the growth opportunities fully.
Reducing the current carbon footprint by 30% by 2020: The Westfield management takes a number of initiatives to run the organization in sustainable manner. The company should give special focus on reducing the carbon foot print significantly by 2020. The Westfield already reduced its total amount of emission by 19% in 2017 (Westfield, 2018). So, the target of reducing carbon emission further would not be difficult for the Westfield management.
Starting new food and grocery store in at least one shopping center in London: Analysis on the UK market indicates that the stepping into the food and grocery market would be beneficial for the organization. Right now, Westfield does not have any food and grocery store in its shopping centers. However, the organization can aim for opening food and grocery store in at least one of its shopping centers by 2020. Opening the food store will help the organization to attract new customer groups which can provide long-term benefit to the organization.
Undertaking 3 promotional programs highlighting the ‘green’ initiatives of the organization in 2018: Discussion on the retail customers indicates that the Westfield management can obtain new sources of competitive advantage by focusing on the customer group which is concerned about the environment. Currently, the company only publishes its efforts for sustainable operations in its annual report. In future, the business can give importance on promoting the sustainable initiatives through other channels also such as social media, in-store advertises and printed advertisements.

Task 4:

Possible impacts of changes in the external environment on the marketing strategy:

The marketing strategies of an organization are influenced significantly by the external market environments. The political, social, economical, legal, technological and environmental factors impact on the marketing techniques. Similarly, the power of buyers, suppliers and the level of competitive rivalry also affect the marketing techniques of a business. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the key drivers in a market before executing the marketing strategies. Here , PESTEL the possible impacts of the changes on the proposed marketing strategies of Westfield are identified:
PESTEL of UK: UK, apart from being a politically stable country, is also considered as a nation where the businesses face less legal complexities. The UK government provides different assistances to the organizations for running business here. The huge cosmopolitan population of the UK is beneficial for business growth. Availability of the advanced technology and stable economic condition also make a country a preferable destination for businesses. However , in the last few years, the UK government has developed a stricter waste management and recycling policies and the businesses, operating here, also need to incorporate these policies in their packaging , power generation and other activities(.Gov.uk., 2018).
The new waste management and recycling policies in the UK can compel the Westfield management to bring some changes in the proposed marketing strategies.

Internal analysis to identify strengths and weaknesses:

The SWOT analysis can effectively identify the strengths and weaknesses of an organization.
Fig: SWOT analysis of Westfield
The SWOT analysis of Westfield indicates that the organization has advanced infrastructure and presence in large market. Both the factors can help Westfield to grow in a sustainable manner. The organization offers quality products and services to the customers. It increases the perceived value of the organization among the customers. It also can be considered as strength of the organization.
The Westfield management takes several initiatives to run the business in a sustainable manner. However, such initiatives are not reflected fully in their promotional programs. It is restricting the organization from posing themselves as an environment-friendly business among the customers and so, can be considered as a weakness.

Strategic marketing responses to key emerging themes:

Use recycled packaging: The analysis on the UK shopping center market indicates that the government is enforcing stricter policies for waste management and recycling. The customers are also focusing on utilizing products and services of the environment-friendly organizations. Therefore, the Westfield management can focus on increasing recycling the wastes by 10% and the use of recycled packages by 10% within 2020. Along with reducing the carbon footprint, increasing the use of recycled material can help Westfield management to obtain a stable growth rate.

Conclusion:

The discussion on Westfield indicates that the organization is encountering strong competition in the UK shopping center industry. However, the organization can obtain long-term competitive advantage by giving more importance on carrying out the business activities in environment-friendly manner.

References:

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